My Journey back to finding new me

I forgot how when I feel such intense feelings such as grief, I need to write.  Deep new raw grief was so intense that the only way for me to function was to let it out.  So I remember creating this blog so I could just let it out.  and so I did.  Sometimes a lot and sometimes…. very little.

The past year, I changed my career up and what a healing thing to spend my days hugging, snuggling, caring for little ones again.  For me I think this was the catalyst that began to ease my pain of my grief.  Love.   Loving others allowed me to pour this love I want to share with everyone, into little tiny people who need someone to love them as much as their family does until they can be back together.   So my love was shared and my love did not just reside in my body and heart but it could flow.

Then this past Feb, on my yearly retreat with the women of my church, I celebrated feeling like my heart was full, that I did not feel like falling apart, but I felt like celebrating this new person I was becoming of being Ashley.  Ashley, mom of my 3, Ashley a caretaker, Ashley the friend, Ashley a sister at sea.   but I did realize that maybe…. maybe I was ready to see what it might be like to meet someone to do things with.

I had prayed many times before the deep of night, when I would wake up and suddenly be still with my loneliness.  I would feel it, and it seems like this ache , the ache of missing love would make me cry out, please. God, please, please don’t let me have to do this life without someone to share things with, please.  please god, I will be good.

So I tried to explore putting myself out there.   It was not good, as I tried to look around, suddenly I became really self conscious and I had the most horrible self talk to myself.  I’m not good enough, I’m not thin enough, I need to settle for this type of person,   This lasted maybe 2 full weeks before I started realizing that instead of having fun, I was creating some sort of hell for myself.   Slowly, I imagined what I wanted to find again but first, maybe I needed to do some self care.

Ok, self, what is going on?   Family is good, friends are great, job is good, oh me ???   well I”m just ok, I mean, what do I like to do?   I like to…. watch Netflix??   drink wine???  talk to friends?   eat???

I started thinking about what I have always loved, being outside, looking at nature, walking and hiking, exploring.   But these years of grief that included so much of my body being sick, really changed my body.   My body was not keeping me from exploring because it took so much energy to move my body.  So I resisted.

I barely had self care.  So slowly in Feb, I started some self care.

First I turned off the get to know a man stuff.

then I went to the Dr.

I got my hair done

I started saying yet to just going out more.

I started noticing how other people did self care…… they took care of themselves.

What ever my personality type is, I put myself last.  and here I was all by myself and I had a list of things to do for myself.

I wanted to help myself so I needed some help.  I needed some accountability, some structure and I needed to look at what it was that was holding me back.  I needed goals.  So I went to the doctor and I said yes.

yes I’m going to have bariatric surgery.   but I needed to take care of me in order to have this.

I needed to take all my meds, I needed to put nutrition into my body, I needed to move my body.

I faced my weight and I made some goals.

So started to walk more.  I sweated so much.

I started to eat salads more.

I went to doctors upon doctors.  I did testing, I logged food, poop, sleep,

I got a pedicure, I got another haircut.  I laughed, I took pictures even though I did not like my pictures but I wanted my kids to see me have fun.  I also put the brake on an unhealthy friendship that was keeping me from fully loving myself.

I opened my heart soul door for someone to come in.

and suddenly just like that……

someone did.

first of all, I want to write that even if I’m giddy, I know someone could just become part of my big beautiful friends but no matter what , he… helped me see that I am all of the things …. right now….. right now without having to have a body look a certain way.

My friends and family love me so much and tell me they love me a lot.  I know they do, I trust them.  I accept it.  but opening up and being vulnerable to be romantic feels raw and scary especially if you have any bad self talk.

but suddenly,

being able to be myself in communication that did not include face to face, it allowed me to just be.  and this person wrote back.

and we connected by our words, connected over common thoughts.  it was really easy.

It was not forced or concerning like the few only months before.
I do think the person that suddenly showed up actually was  and is, a really nice person.   Maybe the others were too but I knew just by communicating that it was not easy.

He suddenly was easy.   It’s only been 6 days.   ha!

BUT he suddenly evoked all these powerful emotions that are so strong,  they literally keep me from sleeping.  I’m exhausted.   so I realized tonight in the middle of the night that I needed to write them out.

What I am feeling is joy.   Joy of being recognized for what’s inside of me and someone saying, I like that.  tell me more.  Joy of someone wanting to know more a lot.  Not just tell me more once a week like my best best friends.   I now have loads of friends and loads of best friends and my best friends make fun of me for having so many best friends as I say… but I think and I say, it takes a lot of people to be me.  because I’m soooo much.   God made me to love others but being this means….  I have a lotta love and I have to share it.   So the past 5 years I have found this way ….. to have LOTS of close friends so that I don’t overwhelm anyone.   because I know I can do that.  It’s ok, if it’s with the right person, like with John.   He was grounded and could almost be immune to how much I was so that I did not totally wear him out but honestly he would roll his eyes at me right now and say, that’s not true you wore me out…

ok but anyway.

so even if suddenly he …. is not he.    I wanted to capture this emotion and celebrate this.

He looked over to me when we met and he recognized me and stood up.  He immediately came over to me and smiled.   Hello.

and it was easy.   There was no look that I have seen by people when they judge you for your out side.   Even my dearest friends, some still do but I found the common.   When someone really is goodness and they get to know the inside of you, and you click then they love the outside of you.

or maybe it’s just magic.

or God

or John

or the universe.

I don’t care, but being accepted for me was affirming and being accepted and wanting to be close to me was super affirming.   Being close to me and then telling me it was wonderful, that was what is keeping me up .

joy of love.  I’m not saying like love love.   but love flowing in the gentle friendship/romance way.   not in love….

It’s day 5 of gentle new affirming romantic feelings and my door is wide open.  I am wide open.  I feel a stillness in my soul of just knowing that it’s possible that I can find love again.  To me, this told me that he or someone really can love me .

and I’m wide open to being me, this new me.